USTA Develops New Court Color For US Open and US Open Series

May 16, 2005 06:43 PM

New Blue Court Heightens Visibility of Ball for Players, Fans and TV Viewers

Consistent Court Color Links all North American Summer Tournaments to US Open

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., May 16, 2005 – The USTA today announced that all courts for the US Open and US Open Series tournaments will have a new court color scheme - - a blue inner court surrounded by a green outer court. This new court color will heighten visibility of the ball for players, fans attending tournaments, and television viewers. In addition, it will provide a signature look and identifiable link between the US Open Series and the US Open.

This new look marks the first change of court colors at the US Open since the event moved to the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., in 1978 from Forest Hills. The US Open (formerly the US Championships) was played on grass from 1881 through 1974. The tournament moved to green clay from 1975 though 1977, before moving to hardcourt at the USTA National Tennis Center in 1978. All courts at the US Open will continue with a DecoTurf II hardcourt surface.

“The new court colors have been tested and proven to enhance visibility of the ball for both players and fans,” said Arlen Kantarian, Chief Executive, Professional Tennis, USTA. “In addition, it provides an instant visual link between the US Open Series tournaments and the US Open, helping to create a unified ‘regular season’ for tennis leading up to the US Open.”

“We support the USTA’s continued efforts to further engage the TV viewer, and consider this a very positive breakthrough for the US Open and the sport,” said Sean McManus, President of CBS Sports.

This new development is the latest in a series of moves initiated by the USTA for the 2005 US Open Series. Recently, the USTA announced the first combined men’s and women’s summer event in New Haven, the addition of San Diego to the US Open Series and double prize money for the men’s and women’s winners of the US Open Series.

“We support the USTA’s continued efforts to further resonate the US Open Series with the tennis fan,” said Len DeLuca, Senior Vice President, Programming Strategy, ESPN. “The US Open Series was last season’s rookie of the year, and ESPN is looking forward to a great sophomore season.

The US Open Series is the six-week summer tennis season of 10 major North American tournaments linked to the US Open. The US Open Series launched in 2004, and resulted in record attendance, TV viewership and live broadcast hours for the sport. Television viewership was up over 50%, with regularly scheduled broadcasts on ESPN, CBS, NBC Sports, and The Tennis Channel. In total, the US Open Series events - - including the US Open - - generated a record 1.5 million attendees, 126 million TV viewers and over 15 million website visits, making it the strongest summertime property in sports. Lindsay Davenport and Lleyton Hewitt won the inaugural US Open Series.

New Court Colors